​Conjoined twins' delicate separation

To avoid confusion, everyone is color-coded: red for Marian's team, yellow for Michelle's.

A line is drawn to show the surgeons where to cut.

Things go smoothly until Michelle's blood pressure suddenly and dangerously drops. She is given a transfusion and IV fluids, but because the twins still share a liver, those fluids go from Michelle's blood stream into Marian's.

Seconds count.

"We now have two babies, two independent living organisms," said Dr. Ford. Amid the celebration, he announced, "There is no satisfactory substitute for excellence!"

Nearly seven hours after Marian and Michelle Bernard enter the operating room together, they leave in separate cribs. Their parents are overwhelmed.

"It's extraordinary to see them lying on their backs," said Manousheka.

By the next morning, Manousheka is experiencing motherhood in a brand new way.

Dr. LaPook asked Dr. Ford, "What does it mean to you to come back here, having been born here, to do an operation like this?"

"It's extremely gratifying," he replied. "There is something special about coming to Haiti to operate on Haitian children with Haitian physicians, because I feel that I'm contributing to the future of this country."

Just this Friday, just two weeks after the operation, the healthy girls are discharged from the hospital -- a homecoming made possible by a native son coming home.


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